Monday, February 11, 2019

Phillip Elden: What’s in a Lake?

Phillip Elden
Lakes are important natural feature, says conservationist Phillip Elden. They are crucial to fish and wildlife and provide habitats for each. Lakes work in conjunction with other bodies of water to help control flooding and, if you’ve ever looked at an Oregon lake at sunset, you know that lakes are a place of inspiration and beauty.

A changing feature

According to Phillip Elden, lakes are not permanent. Over time, often hundreds of thousands of years, lakes fill in with sediment. They become shallow and eventually cease to exist. During this phase-out process, a fading lake may be a marshy, boggy area, but will return to solid land. Human interference, however, can significantly expedite the process, and it is not unheard of for a lake to disappear within just a generation.

Biological diversity

A lake is an ecosystem in and of itself and is made up of a number of physical, biological, and chemical processes. Phillip Elden explains that these determine the types of organism that survive and thrive in and around the body of water.

Lakes are interesting in that they go through a process called stratification. This is essentially when the lake becomes layered with different temperatures of water. In the summer, warm water covers at the surface and get cooler as you descend into the depths of the lake. During the winter, the opposite happens, and the bottom of the lake may have a slightly warmer temperature than the surface.

This reversal of temperatures is a vital to the organisms that live in each individual lake. Phillip Elden notes that during the spring and fall the winds of the season disturb the lake water and, for short time, the temperature at the top and bottom are the same.

It’s easy to look at a lake and think that it is just the thing your beauty for our enjoyment. However, Phillip Elden stresses this is not the case and that your local lake is a home to many creatures. It is up to us to ensure that our lakes, streams, and rivers do not become contaminated or disturbed.